Author Topic: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.  (Read 25804 times)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2015, 06:51:32 PM »
Sorry about the pool and spa, hope the Conrad provides a much better experience!

Offline jbbenz

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2015, 07:15:11 PM »
Any way to work some type of reimbursement due to the fact of the pool and spa being closed??

Offline yoruel

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2015, 12:13:49 AM »

Great read. Keep it pouring in.

Offline cholent

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2015, 12:28:02 AM »
Any way to work some type of reimbursement due to the fact of the pool and spa being closed??

+1 though I can imagine you don't want to deal with it while on vacation... maybe when you get back send off an email of 2.
Great read, keep it coming!
Don't ask stupid questions and you won't get stupid answers

Offline eliteflyer

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2015, 01:22:42 AM »
was your kid a lap child or his/her own seat?

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2015, 01:59:48 AM »
was your kid a lap child or his/her own seat?
Lap child.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2015, 02:00:16 AM »
+1 though I can imagine you don't want to deal with it while on vacation... maybe when you get back send off an email of 2.
Great read, keep it coming!
Drafting.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline TimT

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2015, 02:10:41 AM »
Drafting.
You're not wasting any time :)

Offline AJK

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2015, 03:59:07 AM »
$1,000 for a day delay? I'd take it :)

Did you not have a chance to see the BA F Cabana or the lounge itself?

Looking fwd to the rest!
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Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2015, 04:14:26 AM »
$1,000 for a day delay? I'd take it :)

Did you not have a chance to see the BA F Cabana or the lounge itself?

Looking fwd to the rest!
Did not have a second to stop and look around at all!

The Conrad is amazing!

MAybe i'll get a chance to write up my day a little later on.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2015, 07:54:56 AM »
Part Three:

     Our third morning stared nice and early at 5:15 AM with no alarm needed. Even at that time, we still had gotten a solid 8+ hours of sleep in.  We watched one of the three channels that were in English and packed up our things, as we were to be moving hotels that day. (A small note on Japanese television and it’s commercials. Every single one is for some kind of miracle pill or cream to make you younger, have softer skin or something else which you probably will not get from a pill.) I managed to catch up on a little bit of work as well before going up for our first breakfast at 7 AM.  After some fruit, salad and a drink, we went back to our room and sent our luggage downstairs to storage. I went to alert the front desk of our tour guide who was to be coming and looking for us and found out he had gone t the wrong Hyatt and would be 30 minutes late. We took this opportunity to refresh ourselves once again in the Regency Club and make sure we had a stomach full of food for our day’s trip.

     Our tour guide turned out to be this very nice older Japanese gentleman in a raggedy white bucket cap. This cap would be my savior many times that day, as we would be walking through large crowds and that white cap made him stand out.  Our guide while from a free service was probably worth what we paid for. He took us around to a bunch of sights, but did not have much more to say than the placards by the places we went to see. We first went to purchase/reserve tickets for a train to Hakone, where we would spend the day and get to see Mt Fuji “up close” the next day. After an unprecedented 35 minutes at the counter, we finally had our tickets and were ready to move on to the day’s activities.

     Our first stop was a shrine/temple right by Harajuku that seemed to be hiding amongst everyday life. There was a path into a wooded area that would lead us right to the temple. Along the way there was a huge display of sake in barrels and a display of wine barrels opposite them. Additionally, there were 20+ extremely detailed ice sculptures lining the pathway, as it was the New Year (I think that was the reason). As was mentioned, due to the New Year, what seemed like the entire Tokyo was out to offer donations and ask for good luck in the year to come.

   After the temple, we went to a couple of touristy streets and then to Akihabara. Akihabara is a huge technology, video game and cosplay area that has entire buildings dedicated to this stuff. It is entirely overwhelming for most people, but for the few that enjoy this stuff, it is like heaven. A word of caution: most of the characters in these games etc. are very scantily clad cartoon women. So proceed at your own risk.

   After Akihabara, we went to see another temple, which was even more crowded, but had a very nice market/shouk type area leading up to the main temple area. It is very hard to put into words some of the things we saw at the temple, but hopefully I will get a chance to put some pictures up soon enough so you can see it. 
Guarding the entrance to the temple are two giant statues on either side, one representing thunder and the other wind. There was a bit more meaning and depth behind the statues, but I do not recall it. On the opposite side of the entrance, are giant straw sandals on either side of the exit. For what reason and purpose, I have no idea. After taking some pictures, we started to head back and call it a day.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2015, 07:55:35 AM »
     We made it back to the Hyatt Regency and promptly had our bags loaded into a cab while we made a reservation at Chabad for dinner. The cab ride was around 15-20 minutes until we were being escorted/ushered into the hotel lobby of the Conrad Tokyo and sent up to the 28th floor lobby/check-in. At this point I was given a hard sell on upgrading our room for another 100,000 yen a night (~$9xx), but I kindly declined. As my kid was entertaining the staff, I was checking in and having the hotel follow up with the airline on our still missing car seat. While BA still had no idea where it was, they again said that when it is found, they would send it to the Conrad.

      As we were being shown to our room and walking down the hall, I knew we had made the right decision to switch hotels. While we were a bit disappointed by the Hyatt Regency, we were already smiling at the Conrad and we had not even seen our room yet. The size of the room we had at the Conrad was considerably larger than our previous room and it was a lot nicer. The views of the Bay are amazing and I am looking forward to seeing them for the next few days. We took some pictures, dropped our bags and headed back downstairs to go to dinner. A quick subway ride away and we were back at the Chabad restaurant.

      As I mentioned earlier, the restaurant is not big, but the food is great. There is no real menu, you just sit down ad get served. We met a very nice family who has been living in Japan for some time now and had some good insights to share. There seems to be a very good rate the Chabad gets at the Sheraton next to them (Around $140 a night) and it can be booked through the Chabad of Japan website.  After a quick dinner and conversation, we had our food ready for the next days trip and we were heading back to the subway and our amazing room at the Conrad Tokyo.

     After getting back and taking a few more pictures of the room, I sat down to write this up on the couch overlooking the bay from my room. I do not think I can keep my eyes open much longer, but tomorrow sounds like it should be a great day.

Until thennnnnnzzzzzzzzzz
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2015, 10:07:39 AM »
Amazing! Keep it coming!

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2015, 05:13:24 AM »
Not sure if i will get a chance to write up a full report on the days activities, but i'll post a few short notes.

Today we went to Hakone, which is "the spot" to view Mt. Fuji from. In order to get there, we took a subway from the hotel, a train to the Hakone station, a funicle to the cable car, a cable car to the boat, the boat to the bus and then on to the train and subway home. Essentially we took almost every form of transportation and it took us all day for a one hour viewing of the mountain. From the viewing area, you had a very clear "close up" view of the mountain on one side and steam from the hot springs on the other side.

I do not advise this trip for anyone with a child and even without, you really have to want to see Mt. Fuji close up.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2015, 06:57:55 AM »
I couldn't resist...


Part Four:

   Our day started out nice and late at around 6:30 and would get more and more tiring throughout the day. We went down to breakfast at 7 as it is still some holiday here in Japan and things were running on a holiday schedule. As a HH Gold member (Austin Powers anyone??), we had access to the full spread, but again were severely limited in what we could eat.  The staff at the Conrad is very multicultural, especially compared to the Hyatt Regency, which seemed to be all natives. Additionally, the lack of communication we had at the Hyatt Regency was almost non-existent here at the Conrad. Every employee had a genuine smile and a very passable command of the English language.

   Our guide was on time today, if not a little early and in the correct hotel as well, which was a plus. I brought him into the dining room to have a little snack before we went, which he really did appreciate. We went down to take the subway to connect to our train, which was departing from Shinjuku station. As we had purchased our tickets to Hakone the day before, we went straight to the platform once we arrived. We had splurged for the “romance car” tickets on the way to Hakone and the regular express for the way back. The cost to upgrade for the way back would be an additional 890 yen per person. Now the romance car is not what you are probably thinking. It is just a train with a couple of stops and assigned seating, compared to the express train which is first come first serve. The seats on the romance car were nicer and there was food and drinks for sale as well. The express takes around thirty minutes longer, but for the extra money, we did not really see the benefit. After ninety minutes, we finally arrived at the Hakone station.

   To continue on our journey, we needed to first take a mountain train, which would zig-zag up the mountain and did provide some incredible, yet scary views. There is only one track, so occasionally we would pull into a sidetrack so the train heading down could pass by. At the final stop we then rolled off onto another line to wait for the funicular. The funicular would take us straight up another portion of the mountain and had a few stops for some sights (I think) along the way up. At this point, we were now ready to get in line for the ropeway, or cable car. This would now take us to the top of the viewing mountain and the middle point of our trip. The cable car had seats all around and plenty of open space to keep our stroller. When we reached the top, we made our past the gift shops to the outdoor viewing area of the hot spring steam and Mt. Fuji. While the view was breathtaking, the air was another story. The hot springs had a very strong sulfuric smell, which penetrated right to your soul. On the opposite side of the steam emitting mountains, was a straight shot to Mt. Fuji. We stopped to take pictures and then went back inside from the cold to eat lunch. By this point, we had left our hotel around 8:45 and had finally made it around four to five hours later.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2015, 06:58:28 AM »
     After a quick lunch of some falafel balls and salad from Chabad, we went to the next cable car to take us down to the boats. The view was very similar as the last, but this time there was a nice lake on one side and a golf course on the other. The boat would take us around thirty minutes, where we got on a bus for another thirty minutes to connect to a train and another train to get the subway back home.  This last past of the trip (or was the travelling part the whole trip) was pretty excruciating as the bus was packed, had a child screaming in a foreign language and my son was trying to pull the woman’s hair in front of us (who happened to have some kind of fake hair/half wig thing on). The train rides back were long as my kid was losing all patience, but would perk up and start waving to strangers every so often. Making it back to the hotel was probably the best part of the day.

   
      Upon reaching the lobby, I went to see if there was any update on our missing car seat (still nothing) and have room service warm up our last Pomegranate meal. Getting to the room felt like some kind of weird victory and then being told we can access the Executive Lounge, was icing on the cake. Before our room service came, we went to check out the suite from the night before and were completely blown away by it. While it was only one bedroom, there was more than enough space to host twenty people comfortably. Whether it was in the dining area, kitchen or living room area, there was plenty of space and two bathrooms as well. Deepak, the Conrad’s Guest Service Executive was very helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

     We received our meals shortly after we returned and made quick work of it and then got ready to go up to the lounge. The lounge was not that big, but had great city views and a nice selection of snacks, hors devours and plenty of beverages. Once again the staff were attentive and very friendly. We got some drinks and nuts and tried to get the kid to sleep so we could enjoy the lounge and its view for a bit. We (or actually my wife) got the kid to sleep and we had around fifteen minutes before we went back down to sleep (hope to do this very soon).

    Tomorrow we are going to see the Imperial Palace and the sumo-wrestling tournament.  We will be plenty thankful we only need to take the subway tomorrow and are going to need this night to rest up after a crazy long day.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2015, 11:49:19 AM »
Wow sounds amazing. I'm wondering about how you are doing all of this with a kid? My youngest is 17 months and I can't imagine schlepping him all over Like that!

Offline TimT

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2015, 11:54:03 AM »
My youngest is 17 months and I can't imagine schlepping him all over Like that!
Same here. There's no way I'm doing all that with kids.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2015, 03:02:28 PM »
Wow sounds amazing. I'm wondering about how you are doing all of this with a kid? My youngest is 17 months and I can't imagine schlepping him all over Like that!
Same here. There's no way I'm doing all that with kids.
Kid is a lot different the kidS.

He is still small enough to fly somewhat comfortably with us in F. Most of the issue is just bringing luggage around. But once you are setup at a hotel, you just use a stroller or baby carrier. Not too bad.
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Offline TimT

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Re: Getting To Japan Backward and Other Tall Tales from MP and Co.
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2015, 03:11:57 PM »
Today we went to Hakone, which is "the spot" to view Mt. Fuji from. In order to get there, we took a subway from the hotel, a train to the Hakone station, a funicle to the cable car, a cable car to the boat, the boat to the bus and then on to the train and subway home. Essentially we took almost every form of transportation and it took us all day for a one hour viewing of the mountain.
Is this the only way to get to that spot or just the most "convenient" ?